Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Purpose of Parenting

Last week in class we discussed the purpose of parenting. One of my favorite things said was, "Our purpose as parents is to protect and prepare our children to survive and thrive in the world we live in.". Along with this we must first have children of course. Now I know that sounds stupid but we looked at some stats in class and in 1950, women who got pregnant; 50% of women kept their child, 49% gave them up for adoption, and 1% had an abortion. In 2000, still 50% of women kept their child, but 1% gave them up for adoption, and 49% had an abortion. There is truly a difference between a mother and a pregnant women. I heard a saying one, "just because a woman is a mother, it doesn't make her a mom". Now at first that sounds confusing but its really not. Just because you have a child, that doesn't make you a mom; a mom teaches her child and guides it. A mother loves her child, provides discipline, and helps them prepare for eternal life. Though as parents we learn to sacrifice, develope selflessness, we also are blessed as parents. A child needs contact. There are children out there that act the way they do because of the lack of affection and contact they receive. They want to have that feeling of belonging and contact. We as parents need to offer it freely. Our children are what we teach them, but they also learn by example. Are we being who we want our children to grow up as?

Communication and Power

The week before Thanksgiving we talked a lot about communication and power. One of the things we talked about when it came to communication is how we communicate. 14% is through verbal words, 35% was though tone, and 51% is through nonverbal. We as humans are very aware at not just what others say but how they say it. Thats why when we were younger and we would get an "attitude" with our parents they would comment on our tone. Then there's power. We talked about the three types of power; Respect, Authority, and Ability to influence. Its easy to hold power when people respect you. When you have authority I guess there is a form of fear that keeps you with power. Lastly theres the ability to influence, basically giving people a reason to keep you in power. As parents, what kind of power do you use?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Let's talk Intimacy

     Last week we talked about marital (physical) intimacy. Now as much as this sounds like it would be awkward to talk about in a college classroom, our teacher did a great job of explaining it. One of the phrases he used that I really liked was "One flesh, One heart". This has in flesh meaning physical closeness, and heart meaning emotional closeness. The other really interesting that we talked about was Gottman's "Magic 5 hours". Basically in a weeks time to show you spouse at least 5 hrs of some form of love. He breaks it down into 5 categories. The first is Parting thoughtfully, spend 2 minutes five days a week of having a meaningful goodbye when your spouse is off to work or leaving the house. Then there is Reunions, spending 20 minutes five days a week to just chat and listen when your spouse returns from work or being out all day. Next is Admiration and Appreciation, spending 5 minutes a day seven days a week commenting of appreciation or praise toward spouse. Then there's Affection, spending 5 minutes a day seven days a week kidding. Lastly is Weekly date, spending 2 hours out of the week to go on a date with your spouse. These 5 hrs not only bring you closer emotionally but also physically.
     Then there's talking to your kids about physical intimacy or commonly known as sex. Most parents these days don't know how to approach their kids on this topic so instead of trying they just don't. Or in the religious cases they teach that sex is bad ending in a result of when they get married their scared because they were taught  that is bad and not that it was okay within the right covenants or marriage. How we can help is by preparing ourselves and by talking with your spouse of how you want to approach it, But the key thing is Not talking about it is Not the answer. A few ways parents can be prepare is practice with each other so that its not as strange to talk about, answer their questions so that you know their getting the right information you want them to get, and invite them to share their thoughts and understandings. This building of communication not only strengthens your relationship with them but also gives them a better understanding on certain subjects that you know their not getting from somewhere else.  

where to start?

       Sorry Its been awhile. So in the past few weeks we've been talking about marriage. Not just surface stuff but the process and such of it. Such as factors of a good marriage, what attracts us to the opposite sex, and how planning the wedding can ultimately affect a couple's relationship. All these were covered really well in class but the point I want to go into depth on is depending on how you plan your wedding how it affects the marriage. There's a lot of planning and and decision making going into planning a wedding. Those decisions and opportunities to work together help strengthen the couples relationship and help them work out a method of problem solving for the future. Now if the bride and her mother plan the wedding a barrier starts to form between the couple. As the husband starts pulling away from the wife because he is feeling rejected, she starts leaning more on her mother. This in time puts a hug stress on the family and is higher to end in divorce. Then there's those who cohabit before marriage. When a couple cohabits, when and if they get married its more of a change that nothing in their relationship will change. But if they start at square one with dating, courtship, and engagement; Marriage will be more together because of those challenges you faced when preparing for the wedding together. Planning for such a big thing will draw them closer together because they are trying to work towards the same goal.
         Then there's the why. Why do we making the decision to get married? A few things that were thrown out there were things like religious belief, wanting a family, want to be happier, etc. Then after you are married what are some of the early marital struggles? I mean now that your sharing your life with someone, your life is gonna change. You now have to coordinate with your spouse, accommodate living space, and make a few sacrifices. Last important key point about marriage is that its important that you go to bed at the same time. By not going to bed at the same time, saying your prayers together at night and even in the morning could be lost, this could also cause tension, the physical connection that you have with your spouse is lost, and lastly it opens the door for secrecy.
       Then when you start having kids, everything changes. One of the biggest worries about having kids is the change in focus. It kinda goes back to when I was talking about planning a wedding, if the couple doesn't do it together then there causes stress and tension in the relationship. If the wife's support system is her mother through this process, again the marriage is more likely to fail. If the couple goes through this process of sharing experiences, like when the baby kicks in the wife's stomach. Going through the informational process together, such as Dr. appointments and birthing classes. The couple will develop a support system towards each other and kind of a form of a protection towards each other and the baby. Then after the baby is born there's all the stress of the sudden changes. The lack of sleep, silence, and quality time with spouse. Again like the wedding, she gets preoccupied with the baby so the husband backs off and while he's off feeling unwanted, she's with the baby feeling like he doesn't care. Because this could lead to decrease of marital satisfaction, it's best to plan early and anticipate the additional workload. Discuss the specific changes is will make for each of you in terms of time, energy, privacy, etc. Plan specific means of helping one another through it. Also a key thing is being attentive and aware of your spouses challenges.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Self Evaluated

This past week in class we talked about relationships; parent attachment, sibling subsystems, same-sex attraction, and gender. I'm gonna start with sibling subsystem. In class we talked about how if we grew up as the opposite gender how that would change how we would have grown up and how it would have effected our family system. Me being a girl, if I had grown up as a boy I can think of a lot of different things that wouldn't be the same. First off, my little brother would have a older brother to look up to seeing as he's the youngest with only two older sisters. I probably wouldn't be as close with my mom. Then there's also the effect it would have on my older sister. Then we talked about same-sex attraction, this subject was pretty interesting to me. I never really thought about it, I mean I had some friends who were gay but I never thought how it could effect the world. One of my favorite things someone mentioned in class is this, "Gay marriage effects both genders. For every gay couple you have two women or men left that will never be a mother or a father.". Another thing mentioned was just because a boy is feminine does not make him gay. which leads into my last point, gender. Growing up until the age of about 9 I was into barbies and dress up but then I transitioned to liking more "tom-boy"ish kind of things. I liked playing outside and didn't mind getting dirty, Bugs didn't bother me, and I got really into Star Wars. While my sister wore blouses and jewelry I wore t-shirts and holy jeans. We were honestly like night and day. But just because I dressed and acted a certain way didn't mean I liked girls. Same for boys. Like I mentioned earlier, my little brother grew up in a house of mostly girls, and yes sometimes he'll goof off and act a little girly but this does not make him gay. This just shows he's in touch with his feminine side, which is not a bad thing. I can count on more then one hand were my brother was able to cheer me up because he kinda understood. He is one of the most thoughtful, caring, sensitive, and understanding guys I know all because he doesn't mind expressing himself. In the world there is a lot of debate on what little girls and boys should play with and how it will effect them. There is this misconception somewhere out there that little girls should only play with dolls and such and little boys should only play with toy cars. Honestly I owned a big ol' bucket of cars as a child and it was AWESOME! Another example is if you hand a little girl a stick most the time she'll see it as a wand or something of the sort, but if you give a little boy the stick most the time he'll see it as a sword or gun or in my little brothers case a wizards staff, lol. Kids will be what they want til people start telling them what to be. Once someone is called gay or childish or in some cases unattractive, that's how they will start to see themselves. This is not okay but sadly this is the world we live in but its up to us to change that.

Monday, October 14, 2013


This week in class we talked about the three keys of diversity. These three things are Culture, Class, and Ethnicity/race. The biggest factor is Culture. As we talked in class I noticed how big of an effect Culture has on people. Most people believe culture came from where you lived. As this can be true there are some flaws in that. As a kid growing up around the army environment I moved around a lot therefore being exposed to many different cultures. Because I didn't live in one place longer then three years my culture kinda became what my family made it. It didn't depend on where we lived like it would for most. It was more of a blend of how my mom and dad grew up. Then again isn't that true for most families? I mean yeah a lot of people live in the same place their whole life but I think their culture is more specific to their family. The place they live can influence some of what they believe and how they act but over all how they live is based directly upon how the parents raised the kids. Back to what I was saying before, growing up in the army lifestyle, we mostly did things our own way. Of course we had developed our own traditions and well being but then there was another fact of what was socially acceptable in the place we we're stationed or lived. For example at one point I lived in the south and there they are very disciplined in manners such as "yes sir" or "no ma'am". Yet in the north, I've used such speech and they take it completely different. This is were culture of region is noticed. Also going along with the different regions you can factor in Ethnicity and/or Race. Even though a lot of the racial fights have been long over there are still some people who have opinions. Its interesting seeing certain people, depending on the location, react when they see my parents together. My mom is white and my dad is half black. For some reason this still surprises or disgust people. Because of how I was brought up, I don't see a problem of issue with them, nor can I understand how other people do. I've noticed though that even though the world has changed people still make opinions on what the "norm" is of what ever color you were born as. This I find very silly. There are so many social errors that are made because people take one look and place you into a certain category or class. Where we all learned this and where it came from is my over all question. Who decided that it was okay to judge people on what that look like, where their from, or even how they live there life. How I see it is we all have a similar purpose, we came to earth to get a body, learn, and then continue on to the spirit world. So in the end it doesn't really matter how much money you make or if your not the same color as the person next to you, now does it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

welcoming or not?

So I was thinking about what I learned this past week and the subject of Family Mapping really stood out to me. There were three general boundaries we discussed. These three boundaries consisted of closed off, over inviting, and welcoming. As we went into detail I noticed some similarities that we described about each of these to people in my life. The first one is closed off. The image that we discussed of this is comparing it to a house with a tall, thick, brick wall around a house. These kind of families are very unapproachable and the atmosphere around them is just uninviting. Then there is the over inviting kind of family. We compared this to more of a house with a open yard and no real fence. Kinda like a house you could just walk into without knocking. These kind of families are very friendly but can be a bit over the top. The last one is welcoming. The image we put with this is a house with a small, white, picket fence around it. This kind of family is the kind that when you talk to them, you just feel happy. They seem very put together and down to earth. Like I said earlier, I've seen these three kinds of boundaries in families I know or have grown up with. Its interesting though that though a family may seem one way, as a teen, I see how their kids act; which is sometimes completely different then what their parents portray. So now how do we really determine what boundaries our family or any other family belongs in. I mean when you first look at people you could think one thing but the minute you start talking to them that view could completely change. Plus there's also the fact that we don't all treat everyone the same so to one person we could seemed closed off but to another we could seem welcome. I guess it all depends on where we want to put ourselves or if we really care what people think.